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The October Challenge

Hi. I run Ludum Dare, and this October, I want you to make a game AND sell 1 copy.

You might think I'm contractually obligated to start something ridiculous every few years, though I don't remember signing the papers.

My new project is awesome, I love it, but it's going to take me all of next year (and maybe more) to make it. I'm so fascinated and taken by it, it's something I NEED to make. But that's next years agenda.

This year, 2010, there's still a good 3 months left. I'm doing Smiles stuff still, and will likely be doing more up until the end of the year. I'll have more to talk about there very soon (actually I could talk now since we're almost done, but busy busy).

Aside from the IGF, contest season is nearly over now. Intel has some new cars up for grabs, but I think I've reached my car-winning-quota with Smiles.

Phil and I have been bantering back and forth all summer (maybe all year) how we're going to sit down and make some new games. We released our iPhone games some 2 years ago; He did the Steam thing and I did the Intel and other ports thing. Boy-oh-boy wouldn't we like to start something new!

We run a little something called Ludum Dare, a reasonably well known internet game-jam that does hundreds of entries per event. So today, I decided to issue a challenge to the community.

This October: Make a game -- take it to market -- sell 1 copy

Compared to the usual game jam and compo fare, this is a drastic change from the norm. Sales and marketing usually don't factor in to the creative process of a Ludum Dare; Neither does filling out tax forms and setting up bank accounts.

There's a fantastic community of developers involved in indie, freeware and compo/jams. The compo/jam is the catalyst for many to take the plunge and start creating games regularly. After that, we leave it up to you figure out how to do more with it. I'm especially excited about this, not only for me (new game!), but for all those developers that haven't taken the business dive yet.

We regularly get many thank you's after an LD, from developers that needed that little bit of external encouragement to finally sit down and do it. This wild diversion could be the seed needed by a handful of jammers to finally make the leap in to selling games. It's crazy optimistic, but the one thing we've learned from LD is that deadlines are an amazing thing.

This week I've been thinking about a small "couple week" game; In reality it will take longer, but it is nice to focus on a super small scope sometimes. So on a whim, I throw out the challenge to our #ludumdare IRC channel. To my surprise, I get a great instant response, which gets the gears turning.

I draft up the following up, tweet it, and inform the mailing list.

This all started as a vague race; First one to sell a copy wins. But it really should be more than that, so I shaped it in to something like an LD+ (minus all the restrictions). This should be October, the whole freaking month! That gives us a few days to prep, spread the word, or even start early. I know I'm going be hit with obligations these next 6 weeks, so no time to waste.

That's what's going on. I haven't decided how I'm going to document my attempt, but stay tuned to my blog. And if you too want to get in on the action, to figuratively "join in the App revolution", or get started on something new (like Phil and I), please do! Spread the word. We'll be in a holding pattern at the Ludum Dare website and IRC channel (as usual), so catch us there.

Lets do this!

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